Every great artist has a unique style, and one particular artist’s original take on painting will be immediately familiar to the bespectacled among us.
Philip Barlow is an artist from South Africa whose oil paintings capture the essence of bokeh, the unfocused blur in photographs. Or, as one might note, the world as those with nearsightedness might see it without corrective lenses.
Basically, Barlow’s art shows the world how people with vision problems see it when they don’t have their glasses on — or contacts in.
circus – 100cm x 150cm, oil on canvas. First London piece for the show in July at @everard_read_london #oiloncanvas #piccadilly #london @london
No, you don’t need to clean your glasses. That’s how it’s supposed to look.
Barlow recently had an exhibit at Everard Read London called “Still Motion II” that displayed his bokeh touch on city scenes in London at night and on the beaches of South Africa on a sunny day.
it’s almost been a week now since my show opened at @everard_read_london , don’t miss it if you are in London #oiloncanvas #piccadilly #fulhamroad #london
“I have this fascination of color and light, and the impact and the glow that’s present there,” Barlow told the gallery in a YouTube video. “The primary focus of mine is one of beauty, and wanting to portray a beauty that is not necessarily understandable and succinct, but is something that lifts the soul.”
Insider reported that Barlow first became fascinated with bokeh when he was photographing daisies and noticed the blurry background colors. Now, he captures the images he wants to paint on camera first before painting it on the canvas. Although, his paintings are so good you might think they simply were just blurry photographs:
piccadilly – 1m x 1.5m, oil on canvas. One of my favourites for the July show at @everard_read_london . #oiloncanvas #piccadilly #london #contemporaryart #thisislondon @london
Let me just say that as someone who is nearsighted and has worn glasses for most of my life, this is exactly what things look like when I take off my glasses. That should give all of you blessed 20/20 folks a greater appreciation for Barlow’s work and the fact that I manage to (mostly) not bump into things all the time.
‘decelerate’ 1m x 1m, oil on canvas. Another piece for London in July @everard_read_london #oiloncanvas
While Barlow’s run at the gallery is over, you can check out his Instagram for more of his work.
And, if you are looking for other artists with unique work, check out this one who paints with his palms and this woman who does ultrasound art.